The idea to place a statue of Norman E. Borlaug into the National Statuary Hall Collection came in July 2007 when the World Food Prize hosted a reception at the U.S. Capitol with Iowa’s Congressional Delegation. During the reception, Borlaug was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian honor.
Borlaug Statue Project
In 2011, House Joint Resolution 16 called for a statue of Norman Borlaug to be installed into the U.S. Capitol as one of two statues to represent Iowa in the National Statuary Hall Collection, replacing one of U.S. Senator James Harlan, which was returned to Iowa. Each state is represented in the U.S. Capitol by two notable citizens. The other statue representing Iowa is one of Gov. Samuel Kirkwood.
Governor Terry Branstad announced the appointment of the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Committee in September 2011, which was responsible for the artist selection and fundraising to support the creation and installation of the Borlaug statue into the U.S. Capitol. The installation took place on Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday — March 25, 2014. After conducting a year-long world-wide artist search that reflected the global impact of Borlaug’s career, the committee selected Benjamin Victor of South Dakota to design, create and install the Borlaug statue into the U.S. Capitol Building’s National Statuary Hall Collection. Key sponsors providing funding were DuPont Pioneer and an anonymous donor.
- Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, Des Moines — President, The World Food Prize Foundation (Chair)
- Patty Cownie, Des Moines — Community Volunteer
- Jerry Crawford, Des Moines — Attorney, Crawford and Quilty Law Firm
- Teri Goodmann, Dubuque — Assistant City Manager, City of Dubuque
- Dyan Smith, Cedar Rapids — Community Volunteer
- Joanne Stockdale, Spirit Lake — President, Northern Iowa Diecasting
- John “Jack” Thomson, Cresco — Chairman and CEO, Cresco Union Savings Bank
The Borlaug Statue Committee was administratively supported by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.